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British Gas unites with RNIB to create Hive heating app for blind and partially sighted

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British Gas has announced the availability of its Hive Active Heating app for people wih sight loss, developed in partnership with the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB).

The software, which allows customers to control their heating and hot water systems through an electronic device, such as a smartphone, laptop or tablet, has been supplemented with voice control features, which will give blind people a helping hand around the house, according to the energy supplier.

British Gas says that the software has gone through a “thorough testing and development process” to ensure it’s fully up to scratch. It’s also the first app to have received RNIB’s ‘App Accreditation’ for accessibility.

“We’re delighted to have worked with RNIB to ensure our Hive Active Heating app is easy for blind and partially sighted people to use," said Kass Hussain, the MD of British Gas Connected Homes.

"Hive Active Heating is a simple solution meaning anyone can control their heating in a convenient way that results in greater comfort and less wasted energy.”

While the normal Hive app is available to both Android and iOS users, it looks like the new speech features have only been rolled out to users of Google’s mobile platform. There’s been no word yet on an iPhone release.

Read more: Talkitt gives a voice to people with speech disabilities

If you're not with British Gas, but would still like to make use of the new software, don't worry. Hive is also available to non-British Gas customers too.

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